I despise Rush Limbaugh. I despise almost everything I have ever heard him say. I wish that he were no longer on the air. That is why I write today to defend him against those who call for him to be silenced...
The First Amendment stands for principles like that espoused by the Supreme Court in West Virginia v. Barnette: "Of there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein"...
The First Amendment requires neither tact nor politeness. It requires that we permit all views to set up stalls in the marketplace of ideas, and we let that marketplace decide which ideas prevail.
Rush Limbaugh has a right to his views. Just as important, his fans have a right to hear him. Those of us who disagree with him have a right to fight him, but we must do so on our own. Using the government to support our view is constitutionally intolerable. Trying to bully him off the air is wrong.
Some call for the Federal Communications Commission to pull Clear Channel's broadcast licenses if they keep Limbaugh on the air, because they believe that Rush Limbaugh does not "serve the public interest." This is inaccurate and not permissible under the Constitution.
It is a terrifying prospect that the government might review the political and social positions of a broadcaster when deciding who gets access to the airwaves.
He's not hiding behind "lack of civility in public discourse", "I'm offended", "hate speech" arguments like too many of his fellow travelers on the left.